Ceteris paribus — an inadequate representation for biological contingency

Erkenntnis 57 (3):329-350 (2002)
Abstract
It has been claimed that ceteris paribus laws, rather than strict laws are the proper aim of the special sciences. This is so because the causal regularities found in these domains are exception-ridden, being contingent on the presence of the appropriate conditions and the absence of interfering factors. I argue that the ceteris paribus strategy obscures rather than illuminates the important similarities and differences between representations of causal regularities in the exact and inexact sciences. In particular, a detailed account of the types and degrees of contingency found in the domain of biology permits a more adequate understanding of the relations among the sciences.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1021530311109
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Prediction and Explanation in Historical Natural Science.C. E. Cleland - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):551-582.
There May Be Strict Empirical Laws in Biology, After All.Mehmet Elgin - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):119-134.
A Theory of Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
Stability and Lawlikeness.Jani Raerinne - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):833-851.

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